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Vietnam

Vingroup replaces CEO amid entry to auto manufacturing

New chief leads Vietnamese company's push beyond real estate business

This Vinmart shopping center in Hanoi is one of 400 that Vingroup plans to have across Vietnam by 2020.

HO CHI MINH CITY -- Vingroup announced a new chief executive Monday who will steer Vietnam's leading property developer as it joins the automobile industry.

Vice Chairman Nguyen Viet Quang, 50, was named CEO to spearhead the group for the next three years, a document signed by Chairman Pham Nhat Vuong shows. He replaces Duong Thi Mai Hoa, who held the position since 2014.

The change represents "a normal executive rotation based on working term," a company representative told the Nikkei Asian Review. But a document on Vingroup's website shows that Hoa in February 2017 was named as CEO through February 2020. No information is available on her position following Quang's promotion.

Quang joined Vingroup in 2010, serving as director and chairman at subsidiaries including Hanoi Southern City Development, Vinmec Hospital and Ecology Development and Investment. Quang, who holds a master's degree in law and a bachelor's degree in business administration, was appointed as Vingroup vice chairman last year.

Quang appeared on local media last year to announce Vingroup's entry into the car industry with the VinFast brand, and the company expects to debut its first commercial product in the third quarter of 2019.

Vingroup's Nguyen Viet Quang speaks at the groundbreaking ceremony for the VinFast automobile plant in the Vietnamese city of Haiphong in September 2017. (Photo courtesy of Vingroup)

Images leaked this month showed accelerated construction at Vingroup's first car manufacturing facility in the northern city of Haiphong in order to complete the plant in July. Annual output of 500,000 units is targeted for 2025.

VinFast likely will be the country's first car brand. The company, teaming with German autoparts maker Robert Bosch, intends to develop both electric vehicles and conventional cars.

Vingroup reportedly looks to raise funds for its business expansion, which includes automobiles, education and health care. The company is reorganizing some businesses and plans to list its luxury residential complex project brand, Vinhomes, on the stock market this year.

Last year, Vingroup listed more than 1.9 billion shares of retail arm Vincom Retail on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange. Its share price has gained 62% in the past four months, making the company one of the 10 largest by market capitalization at the bourse, worth more than $4.58 billion.

Vingroup posted 90.3 trillion dong ($3.97 billion) in consolidated revenue for 2017, an increase of 56.8%. Net profit rose 54.8% to 5.4 trillion dong. Real estate accounted for 69% of the group's revenue, while retail brought in 14.4%. Vingroup shares closed at 93,500 dong Tuesday, down 1.6% from the previous session.

(Nikkei)

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